God help me, my skin is stuck

“What iniquity is there which cannot be perpetrated by the angry?  They can even slay the worshipful and vilify the pious with harsh words.  The angry cannot decide what should be spoken and what not.  There is no vice which cannot be committed by them, and there is nothing which cannot be spoken by them.  He is the proper person who can subdue his rising ire by means of forgiveness as a serpent leaves off his worn skin.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Sundarakanda Sarga 55

Old road closed

High Street has been accepted for publication by Outpost19, “Provocative Digital Publishing” (http://outpost19.com/), so I have removed it this morning from this website.  Excerpts from it may be re-posted here soon as part of the marketing of the book, which should be available for purchase as an e-book through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com (and others yet to be determined) in a couple of months or so.

Artists know

“The great and tragic fact of experience is the fact of effort and passionate toil which never finds complete satisfaction. This eternal frustration of our ideals or will is an essential part of spiritual life, and enriches it just as the shadows enrich the picture or certain discords bring about richer harmony.” — Morris R. Cohen, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 21

When science was king

“Commonly we fix beliefs by reiterating them, by surrounding them with emotional safeguards, and by avoiding anything which casts doubt upon them—by ‘the will to believe.’ This method breaks down when the community ceases to be homogeneous. Social effort, by the method of authority, to eliminate diversity of beliefs also fails in the end to prevent reflective doubts from cropping up. Hence we must finally resort to the method of free inquiry and let science stabilize our ideas by clarifying them. How can this be done?” — Morris R. Cohen, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 18

The view from without the cave

“Intellectual pioneers are rarely gregarious creatures. In their isolation they lose touch with those who follow the beaten paths, and when they return to the community they speak strangely of strange sights, so that few have the faith to follow them and change their trails into high roads.” — Morris R. Cohen, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 18

Ideas whose time came

“Out of unrestricted competition arise many wrongs that the State must redress and many abuses which it must check. It may become the duty of the State to reform its taxation, so that its burdens shall rest less heavily upon the lower classes; to repress monopolies of all sorts; to prevent and punish gambling; to regulate or control the railroads and telegraphs; to limit the ownership of land; to modify the laws of inheritance; and possibly to levy a progressive income-tax, so that the enormous fortunes should bear more rather than less than their share of the public burdens.” — Washington Gladden (quoted in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 12)

Welcome to America

“Dishonest men can be bought and ignorant men can be manipulated. This is the kind of government which private capital, invested in public-service industries, naturally feels that it must have.” — Washington Gladden (quoted in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 12)

Better that than cursing blind

“While the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.  There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” — James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”

There’s always room for improvement, verdad?

“Americans have a special horror of giving up control, of letting things happen in their own way without interference.  They would like to jump down into their stomachs and digest the food and shovel the shit out.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Looks like it’s metastasized

“Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer.  A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

But it’s been so upliftingish

“There can be no doubt that American literature has considerably suffered from the platitudinous didactic note.” — George S. Hellman, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Book III, Ch. XIII, Sec. 16

Look out, it’s right beside you

“It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history.  Human life–and herein lies its secret–takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)